Recently, I started using sharpie pens to express my frustration and anger in my journal. Its bold and thick ink seems to represent my emotions in constant turmoil. This is a new habit, and I don’t always do it. But today is the sharpie kind of day.
Without going into nasty details, let’s just say that Joel and I both left our texting conversation stressed and probably heart broken. Sometimes I wonder how ugly and hateful my words and reaction can be when I profess to love my husband so much. After we reached two-month mark of being apart, it seems like I have been possessed by a demon. My mind goes mental that results in me spewing words aimed to bring Joel down with me. And I blame this separation for causing the tension. But is it really the cause? If I were with Joel, would not we still have this crazy cycle? To be honest, I think we would still argue.
Our age old issues always have to do with time, space and priority. I tend to blame my husband for not giving me enough time, or not prioritising me while he tends to respond, “I have not the whole day for you, love.” Usually, as you can imagine, it is ensued with vehement argument, bitter words and remorseful apology later on in the day. Often, 99% of the time, I start the fight. For some reasons, we struggle to really hear what the other person is saying. He doesn’t feel like I respect him. And I don’t feel like he loves me.
To be honest, I think my problem goes much deeper than what comes onto the surface. Pride and distrust are my companion, and I try to micro manage my own life based on these two flawed characteristics. I try to control what happens in both of our lives, which is impossible. I am living in a constant hope to be somewhere else instead of focusing on here and now. With these came a sense of despair because nothing is really going my way.
After trying to swallow my tears at breakfast, my friend “Anna” said, “First off, remember you are two kilometres away. Second, remember you are not mental. Your point is as valid as his. You just gotta be intentional in working through it together as a couple.”
The first was the reference to the story of a swimmer who has been swimming across oceans (this is my vague memory of a true story I read from somewhere), and gives up just a few kilometres away shy from the finished line. Basically, Anna was reminding me that our dream to be together is going to happen soon. The wait is almost over. Do not despair. Second, I was reminded that what we go through, however monumental the struggles may feel, is normal for married couples. I am not a weirdo and Joel doesn’t hate me. We just gotta step back, take a look at the real problems and be intentional about solving them together.
This marriage business is messy and yet beautiful. When we decided to become one, it is not just sex and skin on skin. It is day-to-day grind of boring detail in life. It is handling each other’s heart gently and lovingly because the lips that say the marriage vow and caress each other’s cheeks are the same lips that stab our spouse’s heart. It is choosing to act on love with humbleness because you know so well you are nothing without each other.
So the same sharpie I used to pound words with anger early on is the same one I scribbled with thankfulness in my heart for who Joel is and what he means to me in this life. It doesn’t matter how many times we fight, I still choose Joel.